Predators Match Flyers' Offer for Shea Weber: Preds Will Regret This

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Predators Match Flyers' Offer for Shea Weber: Preds Will Regret This
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

On July 24th, the Nashville Predators decided to match the $110 million offer sheet signed by team captain Shea Weber (NHL.com).

It marks another player that the Flyers have lost out on this postseason, but was it really the smart thing to do for Nashville?

The Predators organization held a rally for fans yesterday to announce officially that Weber was to remain in Nashville. A video recap from The Tennessean can be found here.

Many fans were excited to see their team captain returning, with one stating his belief that Weber simply “wanted the $110 million.” It didn’t matter where he got it.

In the interview, Weber’s agent points out that one does not sign a 14-year offer sheet with any team if they did not wish to play for them.

Jarrett Bousquet, Weber’s more vocal agent, also told TSN that the Nashville captain did not want to be part of another rebuild.

During a conference call that also included Sportsnet, Weber tried to explain that he was "comfortable staying (in Nashville)" for the rest of his career, as reported by the above Sportsnet article.

It does leave many wondering if this was the right choice for Nashville.

If Weber was content to stay in Nashville, why sign a 14-year deal? The $110 million part with front-loaded bonuses aside.

The loss of his defensive pairmate, Ryan Suter, to the Minnesota Wild during free agency, caused a large void in an otherwise rather sparse blueline.

Only a couple of names, including Roman Josi, are being used as potential pairing replacements for Suter, according to The Tennessean.

Shea Weber will now have at least one year to play in Nashville, but if he so decides, he could waive the no-trade clause and do what Rick Nash has done.

There are fans who thought that if Weber was re-signed and the comments made by his agents were true, they could get a better deal for Weber via trades.

Remember before the trade deadline when it became public knowledge that Rick Nash wanted out of Columbus?

Nash has been a regular goal scorer for the Blue Jackets, and to do so while on a team who finished last this season is remarkable.

Yet when Howson began to shop around, one by one the teams were either not on Nash’s list or did not want to strip their club to obtain Nash.

The same would be true next summer should Weber make it apparent that he actually wishes to leave Nashville.

None of the players Columbus obtained in the deal will ever replace Nash. It will be a similar situation for Weber.

Nashville had a few options with Weber: It could have negotiated with Philadelphia to obtain a trade once the offer sheet was signed, and it also could have walked away from the offer sheet.

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Walking away would have garnered them four draft picks from Philadelphia. Even with the Flyers ending high, it would give Nashville the ability to trade its own pick and Philly’s.

Any of these picks could have been used in a trade to upgrade Nashville’s front line that is in need of a consistent goal scorer.

Even if the Predators had kept the picks, it would have helped them obtain players they could develop in their system.

The best deal would have been to speak with Philadelphia about a trade. Picking up a few decent players from Philly would have helped to avoid the offer sheet.

Again, it would have been an uneven trade and more than likely Philadelphia would have walked away better off.

While in the short-term, Nashville has proven that it is serious about being contenders, but it is the long run that is now filled with what-ifs.

What if Weber asks for a trade? What if Weber actually does not want to play for another team?

Much like the results of his arbitration last summer, Weber will go out and earn his money.

In the end, however, if he really wants to leave Nashville next summer, he can request a trade causing the Predators to watch as another top defender chooses to leave.

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